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BIG RACE TODAY

Thousands throng Bahrain F1 circuit

MANAMA, April 19, 2015

Tens of thousands of spectators flocked to Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) yesterday to soak up the Formula One atmosphere ahead of today's (April 19) big race, a report said.

There was plenty of action both on and off the track, with races in the GP2 Series and Porsche GT3 Cup Middle East before the Formula One qualifying session in the evening, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Once the racing had finished, international superstar Pitbull took to the stage to wow the crowds at the BIC with his signature blend of rap and collaboration running through some of his greatest hits such as Timber, Wild Wild Love and Fireball.

Earlier, the GDN caught up with His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, who was taking a tour of the Paddock Area with the BIC's chairman Zayed Al Zayani and its chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.

'From what I've seen so far, people are happy and relaxed,' said the Crown Prince.

'I'm very happy to have seen 20,000 people here yesterday. I haven't had a chance to look around fully yet today, but from what I see, people are happy and they've brought their families.'

Wary of making any firm predictions ahead of tonight's Bahrain Grand Prix, the Crown Prince said he was hopeful it would be as exciting as last year.

'One can only say that Mercedes looks hard to beat at the moment, but you never know, perhaps Ferrari has a chance,' he said.

'Of course, there are ups and downs, but they will always come back.

'I don't know how the race will go, but insha'Allah, we will see another tight race, because it was very good last year.'

The Crown Prince also spoke about Bahrain's contract for the Formula One, which is up for renewal this year.

'It's possible that you will hear something soon,' he said.

'This is the normal process and we're moving through it. I believe as the first race in the Middle East, we've proved the importance of this race and of its followers, and Abu Dhabi has followed us.

'There might also be future races in the area, but Bahrain will always retain its place.'

Meanwhile, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who was also spotted in the Paddock Area, likewise hinted at the possibility of another race in the region.

Contract

'I don't know at the moment, a lot of people talk to us,' he told the GDN when asked about a possible Qatar Grand Prix.

'It's possible to have three races close together, depending on where they are '“ here, I don't know, but the Gulf region is so big.'

The GDN reported in February that Qatar was 'close' to signing a contract to host its own Formula One race, according to the country's motorsport federation president Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah.

Ecclestone did not expand on his comments, but confirmed that the contract with the BIC for the Bahrain Grand Prix was still under discussion.

'We're in the middle of a discussion,' he said.

'The practice sessions have gone well so far, it's going good. I have no predictions for the race '“ I think everyone thinks it's very easy for Mercedes but maybe Ferrari will shake them up a bit '“ at least I hope so.

'I think we can see a repeat of last year's tight race, that's what we want to see. 'The night race works very well.' – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Formula 1 | Grand Prix | BIC |

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